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My personal reflections on TBA 2021…
Like many other people, this was my first convention in 16 long months.
Houghton Horns has had to be creative and flexible during the pandemic in order to stay alive. We changed our focus to increase online sales and e-commerce, and we were determined not to furlough any of our employees or staff. We all pulled together and worked tirelessly to remove barriers, create archives of resources and information, and progressively find new ways to reach and serve our customers.
Making it to TBA this year was so much more than loading up the car, driving to San Antonio and setting up our booth. It was a realized goal and a delightful reward. For me, being there was a deeply emotional experience that involved seeing old friends and making new ones. We celebrated music education and were encouraged and energized by our fellow educators. Good friends dropped by to see us, hug us, encourage us. Attendees we didn’t know stopped by the booth to thank us for being there. This was a TBA like no other. The attendees were genuinely happy and thankful to be there.
I have tremendous respect for all the band directors and educators that worked so hard to keep their programs afloat during the pandemic. Unfortunately, I think we will be dealing with the aftermath for a few years to come. But it was so humbling and heartwarming to see teachers rise to the challenge and persevere. It was very difficult for me to teach private lessons over Zoom; I can’t imagine the challenges of teaching band or orchestra online.
So, a big heartfelt thanks to all my friends and colleagues. I have never been more proud to be a music educator.
I am praying that everyone has a wonderful year and that we never take for granted how much music enriches our lives. Blessings to all!